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Student Rights and Responsibilities

When you accept an offer of financial assistance from the Office of Financial Aid at American University, you are entering into an agreement with the university. There are certain rights and responsibilities associated with this agreement.

Your Rights

  • You have the right to know what financial aid is available to you, including all federal, state, and institutional assistance. In addition, you have the right to know the deadlines, selection criteria, terms, policies, procedures, and regulations that apply to each of the programs.

  • You have the right to know how your financial need was determined and how much of it, as determined by the university, was met. This includes how costs for tuition and fees, room and board, transportation, books and supplies, and miscellaneous personal expenses are included in your student budget.

  • You have the right to know what portion of the financial aid you receive is gift assistance (grants and scholarships) and what portion is self-help (loans and employment).

  • If you have a student loan, you have the right to know the terms of the loan. This includes the interest rate, the total amount that must be repaid, the length of time you have to repay, when you must start repayment, cancellation provisions, deferment and forbearance possibilities, and any special consolidation or refinancing options.

  • You have the right to know how the university determines whether you are making Satisfactory Academic Progress and what happens if you are not.

  • You have the right to appeal your financial aid award if there are special circumstances that you believe were not taken into consideration.

  • You have the right to know how and when your financial aid will be disbursed.

  • You have the right to know the university’s Refund and Repayment policy. You also have the right to know how a change in enrollment will affect your financial aid and your student account.

  • You have the right to examine, with a financial aid counselor, records in our office that relate to your financial aid file.

  • You have the right to expect equitable treatment under the university’s financial aid policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or veteran’s status.

your responsibilities

You have certain responsibilities associated with the awarding of financial aid funds. Aid may not be disbursed to your student account if you do not fulfill these responsibilities:

  • If you would like to be considered for financial aid, it is your responsibility to obtain information regarding deadlines and the financial aid application process. You are responsible for reading, retaining, and understanding all information supplied to you from the Office of Financial Aid.

  • You are responsible for supplying accurate and thorough information on all forms submitted to our office. Funds obtained on the basis of false information must be repaid and may subject you to penalties under the United States criminal code.

  • You are responsible for responding promptly to inquiries or requests for information from the Office of Financial Aid.

  • You are responsible for understanding and complying with the terms and conditions of the aid you receive. This includes deadlines, enrollment, and continued eligibility requirements for federal and institutional aid, application procedures, etc.

  • You are responsible for obtaining all forms required to apply (or reapply) for the type of assistance you wish to receive. Forms are not automatically mailed to you each year.

  • If you receive any type of financial assistance from an outside agency, it is your responsibility to inform the Office of Financial Aid. By law, when determining your financial aid eligibility, the Office of Financial Aid is required to consider all sources of funding.

  • You are responsible for notifying the Office of Financial Aid if your enrollment status changes. This will ensure that your financial aid award is based upon the correct enrollment status.

  • You are responsible for maintaining and updating address changes via the student portal. Name changes must be reported to AU Central. This will ensure that the Office of Financial Aid will have the most recent and accurate information.

  • You are responsible for maintaining an academic standing consistent with the university’s Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.

  • If you take out a loan, it is your responsibility to complete entrance and exit counseling.

  • If you take out a loan, you are responsible for repaying it. Failure to meet this obligation may result in wage garnishment and an adverse credit rating and may make you ineligible for future educational loans.

  • If you take out a loan, you are responsible for notifying your lender or servicer of any change in your name or address while you are attending school and after you leave school.

  • You are responsible for using financial aid funds only for educational expenses that are applicable to your undergraduate degree requirements (tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, and other living costs).